Student Cooking Project - Northridge Dorm
By Steve Yuen
The Northridge students in the yellow wing engaged in a cooking project set up and organized by fellow student James L. The project, as created by James, called for acquiring specific ingredients for ham and egg fried rice to be prepared just as his family does at home. After making the list, as told to me, his counselor, we proceeded to obtain these ingredients: white rice, diced ham, six eggs, soy sauce.
Public transit was to chosen to travel to the grocery store down the road, James, another student, and I made our way to get our ingredients. James had been doing this route with his class so guided us to the store. While there, he reminded us of each item we needed to purchase. After gathering them, we waited in line. James utilized his money skills to purchase the ingredients.
The following week, five students gathered together in the kitchen and we reviewed the ingredients. The first order of business was to cook the rice. James explained what needed to be done. We measured the correct amount of rice (two cups) placed the rice and water (four cups) into the rice cooker. Markus, poured them into the cooker and James pushed the button. All that was needed was to wait until the rice was fully cooked.
One hour later the rice was done. James touched the top of the rice to see how it felt. “It’s fluffy!” he exclaimed. He told us we needed to rinse it under cold water. Markus emptied the rice into a pot and Brian turned on the cold water. The rice soaked for a minute or so until James told us to stop. I drained it and set it aside. Allen wanted to be our “egg cracker” so I got him a bowl and the eggs and he got right to work. Having performed this before in class he had no trouble in getting all six eggs into the bowl. I handed the bowl over to Darren who stirred the eggs until they were ready. Brian took a shot at stirring and Markus turned on the stove, using the Braille markings on the knob. I poured them into a pan and James, who had been telling us each step along the way, told us the eggs must cook until he can “hear them sizzling.” We each took turns stirring the eggs until the sound of frying could be heard.
James instructed us to add the rice, ham and soy sauce. I did this and gave several of the students an opportunity to stir the contents, listening to the frying and smelling the aroma of this medley of ingredients. Allen, Markus and Brian remarked that it was “smelling really good!” I asked James if we did it correctly and if it seemed right. He said it did and before the rice began to stick to the pan I informed them that in my judgment, the dish was ready to serve. The students gathered into the dining area. I served each of them a heaping plate of fried rice and waited for the verdict. James, the organizer and conductor of the experiment was asked how it tasted and if we did it correctly. He said it was correct and asked for seconds before most of the others had finished the first helping.
The project turned out to be a first-rate success and I congratulate each student for his participation and a special congratulations to James, who came up with the idea and guided us the entire way. Not a grain was left and a great time was had by all.